Gwinnett Tech Librarian Chosen For National Public Service Honor

LAWRENCEVILLE – Elissa Checov, manager of library services at Gwinnett Technical College, stepped into the national spotlight yesterday as she was named a winner of the I Love My Librarian Award by the American Library Association. Checov was recognized for her exceptional contributions to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. She is one of only 10 librarians in the country to receive this national honor.

  • Checov was commended for transforming Gwinnett Technical College’s libraries, on both the Lawrenceville and Alpharetta-North Fulton campuses, into welcoming hubs that meet the needs of the students it serves. Checov started by redesigning the College’s library spaces to include teaching and learning labs, commons and lounge areas. The spaces prove more conducive to collaboration and accommodate how students are learning today.
  • Checov created a one-stop circulation and reference desk model to better assist students using the library. She also designs sessions and workshops to teach information literacy skills to help build students’ confidence with the research process.

The school is a commuter campus, and Checov is known for identifying ways the libraries can engage students with fun and educational activities, including both Poetry and Story Nights. The events have grown to feature more than 20 performances by students, staff and faculty.

Checov, originally from Vancouver, came to Gwinnett Technical College in 2004 as part of a community partnership with Gwinnett County Public Library. Checov considers herself a "change agent" that is passionate about life-long learning. She has focused through the years on building a library that is "more than books."

When asked what this award means to her, Checov replied, "Everything. My job is my joy. I am blessed to provide people the opportunity to develop critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making skills. I give them the chance to use technology in ways they might have never thought possible. I offer them a space to be curious, to explore, discover, learn, and grow. And I provide a place - for retreat or refuge, to imagine, think, and be."

  • Dr. D. Glen Cannon, President of Gwinnett Technical College commends Checov for her work saying, "We are thrilled to see Elissa receive this award. She is most deserving of this national recognition. It is exciting to see her work being honored by the American Library Association. She has built a core information center for our College that is innovative, collaborative and resource rich."

Checov received a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception held Wednesday in New York City. The ceremony was hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York, which co-sponsors the award along with The New York Public Library and The New York Times. The American Library Association administers the award through its Public Awareness Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.

As part of the award process, the public was invited to nominate their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. Checov was nominated by a fellow Gwinnett Tech colleague, Brian Wren. This year, nearly 1,100 nominations were submitted by library users detailing how librarians connected them to information, opportunities and critical technology to help improve the quality of their lives.

There are a total of 166,000 librarians in the United States who are experts in helping people access information and resources they need to succeed in today’s digital age. Librarians are continually working to meet the changing needs of the library users and communities they serve.

This year’s award recipients include three academic librarians, four public librarians and three school librarians. A complete list of the 2016 I Love My Librarian Award recipients can be found at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian.


About Gwinnett Tech: Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia's largest technical colleges, is committed to delivering relevant knowledge to meet the workforce training needs of its community. The College offers more than 140 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of seminars, workshops and courses providing specialized training. Gwinnett Tech is Gwinnett County's largest provider of corporate training and also serves residents and businesses in north Fulton County. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Gwinnett Technical College. In addition, some college programs hold separate licensure or accreditation status with appropriate agencies. For more information, visit GwinnettTech.edu. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

About the American Library Association: The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

December 1, 2016